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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Pfizer is planning to brief U.S. health officials this week on whether a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine is needed, a company spokesperson told Axios, following the company's announcement last week that it will seek government authorization for such a shot.

Why it matters: The upcoming meeting, first reported by The Washington Post, will come after the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publicly pushed back against the claim that the booster shot will be necessary.

  • "Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time," the CDC and FDA wrote in a joint statement.

Catch up fast: Pfizer and BioNTech last week released the initial results of a study on coronavirus booster shots, finding that a third dose was five to 10 times more effective at neutralizing the virus than two doses.

  • Yes, but: Government officials like NIAID Director Anthony Fauci have reiterated that people who have gotten two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson do not need a booster shot.
  • Fauci told CNN that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla apologized to him for not giving health officials advance notice that the company would seek the authorization.

Among those invited to the meeting were National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Chief Science Officer of the White House COVID-19 Response Team David Kessler, according to the Post.

Officials at the FDA, CDC and Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Of note: Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced Sunday that, effective immediately, the country would begin offering a third Pfizer shot to adults with impaired immune systems, Reuters reports.

  • However the country hasn't yet decided whether it will make the third dose available to the general population.

Go deeper

Oct 18, 2021 - Health

Over 30 states have limited officials' public health powers

Photo: Ringo Chiu/AFP via Getty Images

Republican lawmakers in more than 30 U.S. states have weakened health officials' authority to implement policies to protect the public against the coronavirus, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, lawmakers in all 50 states have introduced bills to curb state and local officials' public health authority.

Oct 18, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Minnesota offers cash and chance at $100K scholarship as vaccine incentive for teens

Expand chart
Data: Minnesota COVID-19 Response; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Minnesota is offering new incentives to shot-wary teens in an effort to boost the state's COVID-19 vaccination rates.

Driving the news: 12 to 17 year olds who get both doses over the next six weeks will receive a $200 Visa gift card, Gov. Tim Walz's administration announced Monday.

  • Kids vaccinated during this period can also enter a lottery for one of five $100,000 scholarships to attend any of the state's public or private colleges or universities.

Why it matters: Public health officials say increasing vaccination rates among young Minnesotans is key to curbing spread of the virus, especially in schools.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.